The Art of Inspiration: recap of #TheWorkofArt featuring Aubrey Powell

04.02.2019 by Hester Gersonius

Keywords: #TheWorkofArt, Aubrey Powell, Dortmunder U, interview, Pink Floyd, recap

On the 30th of November 2018, smARTplaces lead partner the Dortmunder U hosted the fourth edition of #TheWorkofArt live dialogue series. The audience was invited to embark on a quest to discover the work of Pink Floyd together with Aubrey Powell, longtime designer behind Pink Floyd and co-curator of The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains and other experts of the creative industry. Jenni Muller and Britta Lerch share their experiences in organizing this big event.

How were you involved in the project?

Jenni: I was the project manager for this edition of #TheWorkofArt at the Dortmunder U.

Britta: I was involved as the overall project manager for the smARTplaces project. As the lead partner of the project we were especially keen to make this a very engaging edition and aimed for a big approach to #TheWorkofArt!

How did you decide on who to invite?

Jenni: We had a very special guest: Aubrey Powell. We got to know him as the curator of the Pink Floyd exhibition. He is such an interesting person, with an equally interesting background. We immediately knew he would make a great guest and he was very excited about the concept and keen to join.

Did you together decide who else to invite?

Jenni: Jenni: In order to have an interesting mix of people on stage, we tried to find people from different backgrounds. We were lucky to get Prof. Ulrike Brückner of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts FH Dortmund, and Dennis Plauk, editor in chief at VISIONS music magazine, on board. Last but not least, Florian Carevic was a great moderator.

Britta: It was very fitting to have this edition of #TheWorkofArt around the Pink Floyd exhibition, because it really gives interesting insights on how creativity builds in the context of one of the most influential bands of all times. Participants had the unique chance to dive into the mind of a great designer and explore the inspirational processes behind design and art works developed within the music industry.

A lot of people joined in. How did you market this edition of #TheWorkofArt?

Jenni: We took two approaches: we targeted a broad audience online and reached out to local audiences. Through the exhibition we already had a big audience interested in Pink Floyd. This approach worked out really well.

Did you create special content?

Britta: A couple of months ago, when Aubrey visited the exhibition during the opening phase we filmed an interview with Aubrey which was used as a teaser video to promote the upcoming event. That was a great boost for our marketing and ensured that we can reach a broader virtual international audience with this edition as well.

What was your biggest challenge in organizing this event?

Jenni: It was interesting to see what people’s expectations were. Over 20 people were involved in the organization and it was a challenge to get everyone together and on the same page.

Britta: It was the first event that involved an online audience joining an event on site. But given the success it shows that live-streaming is a very fruitful measure to involve different audiences that can’t visit the institution, but still would like to get engaged and learn more about the work of artists or take a look behind the scenes of cultural places.

Did something unexpected happen?

Jenni: We were surprised that everything happened as we planned it! It exceeded our expectations. There were so many questions asked – via social media as well as from the audience in the auditorium – that we had to extend it up to 1,5 hours instead of 45 minutes.

What would you advise to people wanting to organise a similar event?

Jenni: Make sure everyone – including the technical staff – knows what to do and why. It’ hard to work with a team that doesn’t know what the objective is. Also, organizing an event takes a lot of time. Don’t think it’s easy to organise it just because it’s online – it’s a real event and you need time to prepare.

Britta: Additionally, if you are a novice to live-streaming events at your institution: test, rehearse and test again to ensure that everything runs smoothly and everyone knows their role during the live event. With so many technical variables, ranging from a strong network for the broadcasting to audio and video equipment and on stage lighting, a thorough dry run in the days before the event is crucial to make it a great experience for the audience as well as the team.

The next edition of #TheWorkofArt is hosted by Etopia Center for Art and Technology in Zaragoza, Spain. Taking place on the eve of CONECTA | II smARTplaces conference on Audience and Mediation, it promises to be another exciting edition.